According to a recent study from the University of Essex, pandemics caused a spike in depression and anxiety among pregnant mothers.
The study discovered that social support protected against having anxiety and depression symptoms linked to the pandemic, but that disruptions to maternity care imposed by lockdown and other limitations are likely to have a depression and anxiety or negative impact on mental health.
The absence of appointments and other changes to face-to-face interaction may have impacted well-being, according to a report published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.
COVID-19 Pandemic, Having Anxiety And Depression
The researchers hypothesized that significant modifications to maternity care as a result of COVID-induced lockdown and other limitations had a negative impact on pregnant women’s mental health or having depression and anxiety.
The elimination of appointments as well as other changes to face-to-face interaction, for example, may have had an impact on mother welfare throughout pregnancy. They also found that prenatal stress, such as that experienced during the COVID-19 epidemic, might greatly increase sensitivity to mental health issues like having anxiety and depression.
Dr. Silvia Rigato, the study’s principal author, said it was critical to “maintain mother wellness during pregnancy and beyond” and “guarantee that all children, as well as their new families, get the greatest possible start in life.”
According to the research, reported having anxiety and depression rates increased by 30% from pre-pandemic levels, from 17% to 47%, with anxiety rates increasing by 37% among expectant women to 60%.
Dr. Maria as well as Dr. Rigato, researchers, undertook peer-reviewed research of 150 women between April 2020 – January 2021, at the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak and before the vaccine program was implemented.
Prenatal trauma, such as that experienced during the COVID-19 epidemic, was found to greatly increase sensitivity to mental health disorders, according to the study.
Pregnant women with more depressive symptoms like having anxiety and depression reported feeling less linked to their unborn child, according to the research.
“Whereas this result is similar to previous observations that a woman’s mood during pregnancy impacts her existing relationship with her child, it strengthens the need for authorities to empower women throughout their pregnancy as well as a postnatal period in terms of protecting their health as well as the development of their infants,” Dr. Rigato said.
Social Support Protects Pregnant Women’s Mental Health
Importantly, the study discovered that social support had a protective effect on having anxiety and depression of expectant moms.
Women who thought COVID-19 had a negative impact had higher levels of anxiety, however, help from spouses, family, and friends, as well as the NHS, worked as a protective factor, resulting in fewer unpleasant symptoms, according to the study.
The high rates of having anxiety and depression among pregnant women during the pandemic, according to Dr. Filippetti, indicate that they are experiencing a mental health crisis. She went on to say that this can disrupt and impede mother-baby bonding throughout pregnancy, as well as have an impact on birthing outcomes and later infant and child development.
The study, which involved 150 women, took place between April 2020 – January 2021, at the height of the Coronavirus outbreak and before the vaccine program was implemented.
According to a new study, the COVID-19 pandemic caused an increase in having anxiety and depression among expecting mothers or during pregnancies’. There was a 30% rise in reported depression rates from pre-pandemic levels to post-pandemic levels, from 17% to 47%, with anxiety rates increasing by 37% in expectant women to 60%.
Are Pregnant Women More Vulnerable To COVID-19?
Pregnant women do not appear to be more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, studies have indicated that pregnant women who are infected have a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 than non-pregnant women of a similar age. COVID-19 exposure during pregnancy has also been linked to an increased risk of premature birth.
Pregnant women over the age of 35, who are overweight, or who have pre-existing medical disorders such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes are at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes.
Pregnant women, as well as others around them, must take care to protect themselves from COVID-19. If they feel ill, they should seek immediate medical attention from a health professional.
Is It Safe For Me To Touch And Cuddle My Newborn Baby If I Have COVID-19?
Yes. A baby’s development is aided by close touch and early, exclusive breastfeeding. You should be encouraged to
- Breastfeed safely and with excellent respiratory hygiene; skin-to-skin with your child; and share a room with your kid
- Hands should be washed before and after contacting your infant, and all surfaces should be kept clean. Mothers with COVID-19 symptoms are recommended to wear a medical mask whenever they come into contact with their newborn.
What Kind Of Care Should Be Provided During Pregnancy And Childbirth?
All pregnant women and their newborns, including those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, have the right to high-quality prenatal, postnatal, and mental health treatment.
The following factors contribute to a happy and safe birthing experience:
- Being handled with dignity and respect; having a friend of one’s choosing present during delivery;
- Maternity staff communicates clearly;
- Appropriate pain reduction measures include: mobility during labor, if possible, and the birth position of choice.
If COVID 19 is suspected or confirmed, health personnel should take all necessary precautions to decrease the risk of infection to themselves and others, including proper hand hygiene and the use of protective clothes such as gloves, gowns, and surgical masks.
Is It Necessary To Test Pregnant Women For COVID-19?
Pregnancy testing techniques and eligibility differ based on where you live.
However, according to WHO standards, pregnant women with COVID-19 symptoms should be prioritized for testing. They may require specialist care if they have COVID-19.
The opinion and suggestions in this article are provided for general information only and should not be taken as medical advice. Before beginning any program or making any dietary changes, always consult your doctor or a dietitian.